Teddy Bridgewater is having himself a season and those supporting Colin Kaepernick’s potential NFL return should take note. The backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints has stepped in for an injured Drew Brees and led his team to a 4-1 record, good for first place currently in the NFC South. It’s been impressive to watch, largely because other than Week 16 of last year when he started an ultimately meaningless game, Bridgewater hasn’t started in the league since 2015.

Bridgewater’s recent success filling in for Brees has been one of the feel-good stories of the season so far, and it has also shown that some players can go years without playing and still be effective on the field. One player, in particular, comes to mind when watching Bridgewater’s recent success: Colin Kaepernick.

Out of the NFL since the 2016 season ended, one of the primary arguments against Kaepernick returning to the field has been that he hasn’t played in or started a game for three years. But aside from one game in 2018, Bridgewater found himself in a similar spot in terms of not starting game, and he’s doing just fine. Does Bridgewater’s comeback provide evidence to discount the narrative that Kaepernick can’t play anymore because he has been out of the league for three seasons? Let’s break it down.